ELEONORE ZUGUN: THE RE-EVALUATION OF A HISTORIC RSPK CASE

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Author: Peter Mulacz
Date: Mar. 1999
From: The Journal of Parapsychology(Vol. 63, Issue 1)
Publisher: Parapsychology Press
Document Type: Article
Length: 11,322 words
Lexile Measure: 1560L

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Abstract :

This investigation of two distinct phases of the Zugun Case focuses on (a) establishing the total number of phenomena by evaluating the original reports in order to identify indicators of possible fraud (or the absence of such) ; (b) analysis of a documentary film on the phenomena which Dessoir claimed to prove fraud (Rosenbusch, 1928, p. 157)--an author still quoted in Kurtz' Skeptic's Handbook (Kurtz, 1985, p. 474); (c) scrutiny of the alleged exposure, analysis of which showed that it is not tenable; (d) evaluation of Eleonore's psychoanalysis, which, however amateurish, had an impact on the transformation of the phenomena; (e) investigation of the frequency distribution of the phenomena, the question being whether the distribution of maxima and minima showed an internal periodicity or any correlation with external variables or if it is entirely random. Whereas Countess Wassilko (1966) hypothesized that the frequency distribution was an anticipation of the female menstrual cycle, Schrenck-Notzing hypothesized a coincidence of the maxima of phenomena with the full moon (Price, 1926, p. 459). Neither of these hypotheses can be maintained, nor could any correlation be found when probing modern hypotheses of geomagnetic fields (Persinger, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989; Persinger & Schaut 1988; Schaut & Persinger 1985) or LST--Local Sidereal Time (Spottiswoode, 1990, 1993, 1997a, 1997b). However, there is an apparently strong correlation with purely psychological variables. This case is a prime methodological example for applying quantitative methods on a hitherto apparently qualitative case. It demonstrates that the abundance of historic cases in parapsychology is a most valuable "treasure" that needs to be re-evaluated periodically, and that the gap between idiographic and nomothetic approaches can indeed be bridged.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A584176209